South Sudan and UN launches 2018 Agriculture Campaign to boost food security

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[Yambio, South Sudan, TCT] The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Programme on Wednesday launched an agriculture campaign in Yambio on the importance of the planting season to improve food security situation in South Sudan.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec appreciated the continued support from the agencies in re-establishing livelihoods for the people of South Sudan.

“FAO and WFP’s continuous efforts to assist vulnerable South Sudanese families who depend entirely on agriculture for their food security and livelihood is greatly appreciated,” he said.

FAO Deputy Representative, Pierre Vauthier, has emphasized the need to continue helping farmers to be able to produce their own food.

“It is critical that we continue helping vulnerable farmers, fisher folks and herders to build stronger, more resilient livelihoods and become more self-sufficient in food production. Agricultural livelihoods play a critical role to ensure national food security and economic growth which contributes to future peace and stability,” said the FAO Deputy Country Representative.

The campaign attended by many farmers and leaders aims to encourage farmers to return and embark on agricultural activities. According to a pastor from the area, the Minister has introduced new measures to stimulate farmers to increase their farming activities this planting season with hope to increase the area of land under cultivation to avoid another round of worsening food insecurity next year.

The campaign involves the use of media and other channels at national and state levels to increase awareness of the critical nature of the coming main planting season.

WFP Deputy Representative, Simon Cammelbeeck, said the food security situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate, calling on the farmers to be ready for agricultural activities.

“It is critical for everyone from the farmers to the private sector to take advantage of the upcoming main planting season if we are to meet the food needs of the country and ultimately defeat hunger.” Said Cammelbeeck.

The latest food security situation report estimates that some 7.1 million people will face acute food insecurity at the peak of the hunger season between May and July this year in the absence of all forms of humanitarian assistance.

FAO said that in 2018 they will continue to support households through seed fairs and focus on enhancing resilience through increasing its emphasis on production and sustainable agriculture.

Despite the huge challenges faced through its seed fairs in Western Equatoria and Yambio, FAO stated that it is supporting local seeds production and enhancing agricultural activities. The campaign will also be replicated in the 28 states.


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